2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 23, 2010

Mercedes-Benz released today the official details, photos and specs of the new 2012 C-Class, a restyled version of its popular car, which will make its official debut in January at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Set to hit the market in the summer of 2011, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes with the brand’s new design language.

As expected, the central element of the car is the grille, enhanced by the new bumper design as well as by the new outboard air intakes now positioned very low down in order to provide a more muscular presence.

Moreover, the car comes with a new aluminum hood which reduces the weight and improve the fuel consumption. As you can see from the photos, the car also features a new set of clear glass headlamps, delivering a more dynamic and determined look. Besides thee headlamps, the car also features a new set of horizontal daytime running LEDs located in the bumper.

At the rear end, the more dynamic and determined look. The improvements can also be seen at the interior, where the 2012 C-Class comes with a redesigned with the aim of creating a powerful, sporty and premium look-and-feel.

The new center console now features rectangular silver keys and emphasizes the premium feel of the interior in combination with matte keys, high-gloss surfaces and a new knurled control knob. The new C250 Sport and C300 4MATIC Sport models come with standard brushed aluminum trim, while the C350 Sport has distinctive Black Ash.

The Luxury versions feature Burl Walnut trim. Under the hood, we find a new V6 gasoline engine in the C350 Sport Sedan, featuring the innovative and highly efficient BlueDIRECT process.

The engine delivers 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque (previously 268 hp and 258 lb-ft), while fuel economy has been improved by 5 percent. The four-cylinder engine (new for the U.S. market) features direct injection and turbocharging and is also distinguished by outstanding combined fuel economy of 24 mpg. This marks an improvement of nearly 15 percent compared with the 2011MY C300.

Interior Design

The sloping and wedge-shaped beltline shows that it is indeed a member of the C-Class. What makes it recognizable is the upsweep to the C-pillar. The final part of its beltline trim moves up in order to meet with the trim of the roofline. This results in two things. First is that the upsweep adds a sporty display to how the side windows look. The second is that it shapes the bottom of the C-pillar and thus improves the already powerful shoulders.

The same thing can be observed in the front of the coupe. Its style is the same as that of the C-Class but it has its own unique feature. The magnificence of its front view can mostly be attributed to the radiator ground surround which includes the bumper. Meanwhile the center air intake opens towards the top. This allows it to shape the visual base unit of the radiator grille having the double-louvre style of a standard coupe. On each side of its central star are the two chrome louvres which narrow off to its outer edges. This gives it an arrow-shaped horizontal sweep resulting in the front portion having a pronounced V-shape. It does not stop there as it goes through the side sections and extends under the headlamps and then merges to the features lines located on the side of the vehicle. With this, it links the front end of the vehicle to its sides.

Placed in the bumper are the side air intakes where the horizontal daytime running lamps have been integrated. The lamps have been positioned low, thereby giving the coupe a look as if it is hugging the road. The clear-lens headlamps have been shaped in a way that results in a dynamic impression. Its bumper trim, radiator grille, and bonnet also reinforce the vehicle’s already prominent front portion.

When viewed from the back, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé appears to be short. This is because the roof moves past its rear axle and when taken together with the fluid C-pillars and steeply raked rear window, they give the impression that its length has been reduced. Its wide chamfer above the boot lid and based on the side panel further highlight how compact the rear portion is. Further emphasizing the width are the tail lights that have been placed as far apart from each other.

The addition of the centrally located LED indicator helps with the impression of depth. The LED indicator looks as if it is floating in the front of the red upper bands and lower light bands. Its bumper has that horizontal and continuous light-catching outline which highlights even further the deep-set and broad effect. In between the tailpipe trim is the AMG rear skirt which helps the rear portion appear lighter. It also gives the C-Class Coupé a uniquely dynamic and sporty quality.

Its dashboard instrument panel has a strong design in addition to being sporty and boasting top quality. It has three tube rings that come with a galvanized finish which confirm the vehicle’s sporty credentials. As expected, the coupe has the new three-spoke steering wheel with the chromed central spoke as standard.

This configuration was first seen on the new CLS. Even the touch surfaces of its controls have been galvanized and exhibited fine details. Its instrument cluster has a stepped top which houses the central display and goes through the front passenger side like a discreet light-catching outline. On the outside are the round vents and the trapezoidal air vents whose details are highlighted with a galvanized trim. Meanwhile the control panel of the information and communication unit makes use of silver-colored keys.

The combination of the thumbwheel design, high-gloss design, and matte keys highlight further the value of the vehicle’s interior. A big part of the trim is considered to be a high-quality aspect of its dashboard instrument panel. This starts from the center air vents going through the front passenger side and all the way to the outer air vent.

This also highlights the generous proportions of the interior. The C-Class Coupé is indeed a true four-seater especially with the comfortable and sporty four integral seats. When needed, it is possible to fold down the backrests in the rear to make its boot even larger.

Its new telematics generation helps enhance the already attractive good looks and improves its ease of operation. The new telematics on the C-Class Coupé was first shown to the world on the estate and saloon models. Some of the main new features include the larger displays, ability to display SMS messages, and phone book transfer.

It even allows wireless music reproduction through Bluetooth. A USB interface placed on the center armrest can also be used. In addition, the new telematics also offer greater operating convenience. For the first time, the multimedia system COMAND Online offers internet access. When the car is not moving, the occupants can browse or surf freely using the Mercedes-Benz Online service. The pages are able to load quickly and in fact, they’re easy to use even when on the move.

Other integrated services of this system include weather information. There is also the special destination search through Google which also offers the choice to download a route that had been set-up on a PC with Google Maps and transmitted to the car.

The COMAND Online’s navigation system also has new functions like being able to show a 3D display with plastic city views. It is now also possible to record routes and then have them repeated later. Through an SD card, it is possible to save or even import specific personal destinations after which four possible alternate routes are shown on the navigation map, with one economical option.

Press Release

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The new C-Class to be launched in spring 2011 is a comprehensive modernisation. The front and rear sections of this bestselling model have a more striking design. Together with the optional, high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster, the new dashboard with its elegant, grained surface and prominent decorative trim emphasises the premium character of the interior. Fuel consumption has been lowered by up to 31 percent. Efficiency-enhancing measures include new engines, the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function. Ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control are now available for this model series. The new-generation telematics include internet access and a 3D navigation display with plastic city views.

“In terms of drive and protection systems the new-generation C-Class offers the same comfort and safety as our luxury models. And with numerous high-grade features in the interior that remind one of the new CLS, the C-Class sets completely new standards in its segment with respect to perceived value and quality,” says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Sales & Marketing Director at Mercedes-Benz Cars. This interior modernisation is supplemented with a new telematics generation that not only includes completely redesigned displays, but also makes onboard internet access available.

A total of more than 2000 new components distinguish the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from its predecessor. Both the Saloon and Estate versions can be ordered from 10 January 2011. The European market launch will take place from March 2011. In addition to the standard appointments – which now include a leather steering wheel – the two design and equipment lines ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE are the basis for the individualisation programme of the C-Class. The two lines are now even more readily distinguishable from each other.

The C-Class is the highest-selling model series, and therefore of particular importance for Mercedes-Benz. The current series has found well over one million buyers worldwide since its launch in March 2007. Since the introduction of the first C-Class in 1982 (then known as the model 190), Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 8.5 million vehicles in total in this segment. In 2010 too, the C-Class has repeatedly won top places in the registration statistics.

Dynamic, resolute, self-assured: the exterior

The front bumper has a more expressive and dynamic contours, the front section being brought closer to the brand’s new design idiom. This starts with a more prominent radiator grille surround. The central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille. Pronounced side sections extend from the sporty V-shape at the centre of the bumper. Continuing beneath the headlamps, these sections blend into the feature lines along the vehicle flanks, linking the front section with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance.

The Saloon and Estate now have a new aluminium bonnet, which contributes to weight reduction and therefore fuel efficiency. Its contour in the area of the headlamps and radiator grille emphasises the V-shape of the front section more heavily than before. In conjunction with the newly designed headlamps, this gives the front section a more resolute impression.

The shape of the clear-lens headlamps has been modified to create a more dynamic and resolute impression, and to act together with the bonnet, radiator grille and bumper to emphasise the V-shape of the front section. This impression is reinforced by both the exterior form of the headlamps and the interior of the housings. The headlamps show their modernity by precision and an interplay between matt and high-sheen areas. The halogen headlamps are arranged in the classic way, with low beam on the outside, high beam on the inside and the indicators neatly arranged in the outer corner formed with the front wing.

If the optional bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are specified, the impression of depth is reinforced by a row of lighting modules. A position light with a distinctive C-shape emphasises the night design. Behind it is a cornering light extending to the main headlamp module on the outside. All three levels are connected by a transverse strip extending through the complete headlamp interior with dark contrasts, shiny areas and matt areas. A visual base in the lower section of the headlamp is formed by a horizontal broadband LED indicator unit. The horizontal LED daytime running lamps in the bumper also make the C-Class unmistakable from a distance.

In the case of the rear bumper, the light-catching contours and dividing lines have been modified to emphasise the width of the Saloon and Estate even more strongly. This change is particularly obvious in the more steeply rising course of the side light-catching contours towards the tail lights. A continuous light-catching contour at the upper end of the rear bumper extends into the flanks to connect the rear end with the sides to emphasise the sporty character of the rear aspect. In the facelifted model, the tail lights are even more neatly integrated into the rear section by a continuous covering lens. The characteristic surface meander is now on the inside of the light, and reminiscent of preceding model series. The particular impression of depth is achieved by a centrally located LED indicator, which appears to float in front of the red upper and lower light bands with their more deeply set LEDs. The tail lights have a particularly high recognition factor in the dark.

The aerodynamics of the C-Class are the mark of the bodyshell’s efficiency. With a Cd figure of 0.26 it not only sets the benchmark in its class, but also glides through the wind better than most compact cars with its drag area of Cd x A = 0.57 sq. m.

Sporty, high-quality interior

The main focus of the design work in the interior was on restyling the dashboard with its integrated screen and new surface grain. The touch surfaces of the controls are now also more finely detailed and galvanised. A stepped extension to the instrument cluster now also accommodates the central display. The instrument cluster and a discreet light-catching contour continue into the front passenger side. The central, trapezoidal air vents and the round vents on the outside are highlighted in detail by galvanised trim.

The large section of trim is an important part of the newly designed dashboard. This extends from the centre air vents across the front passenger side to the outer air vent, while the lower edge of the upper dashboard section continues into the beltlines of the door panels with a new surface grain.

The control panel of the new-generation communication and information unit has keys with high-gloss surface inserts. The combination of keys, high-gloss areas and a new knurled wheel design accentuates the higher perceived value of the interior. In conjunction with the new telematics generation, the facelifted C-Class is also available with an optional, high-resolution colour display in the instrument cluster.

The premium character of the interior is underlined by the new-generation steering wheel, which was introduced with the new CLS and is now available in the sporty AVANTGARDE line for the C-Class. The steering wheel with its chromed central spoke stylishly accentuates the sporty atmosphere in the C‑Class.

The ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE lines are more readily distinguishable from each other. This has been partly achieved by new trim in matt ash wood or walnut (ELEGANCE), or dark aluminium or black ash wood (AVANTGARDE). Stand features in the ELEGANCE line include luxury head restraints whose side bolsters can be adjusted as required.

More power, lower consumption: the engines

A reduction of up to 31 percent has been achieved in fuel consumption. All the rear-wheel drive C-Class models are equipped with the ECO start/stop function as standard. All the engine variants are now classed as BlueEFFICIENCY units, showing that they are particularly efficient and environmentally compatible in their use of fuel. In future all automatic versions with the exception of the C 300 CDI 4MATIC will feature the further-developed 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission (introduction in the C 250 CDI 4MATIC in June 2011). In addition, the overall ratio of all new powertrain variants has been optimised for fuel economy.

All the petrol engines in the model series have direct injection. One of the highlights is the introduction of the new V6 petrol engine with its innovative and highly efficient BlueDIRECT process in the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY. The quantum leap in efficiency is particularly well illustrated by the six-cylinder unit: Power has increased considerably, the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY delivering 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm (previously 215 kW/292 hp and 365 Nm). Fuel consumption has been significantly reduced, however: the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY has a mean consumption of 6.8 litres per 100 km – 1.5 litres or 31 percent less than the preceding C 350 model. [1]

The four-cylinder petrol engines, which made a great evolutionary leap forward in 2009 and all feature direct injection and turbocharging, excel with high performance and exemplary economy.

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